Wedding Photographer West Sussex Neil Walker Wedding Photography shoots a wedding at Freya’s Parents Garden, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Real weddings from real wedding photographers & real couples around the world.
Tell us a little about yourself??I was 14 when I knew I wanted to be a photographer, so I worked with local photographers & then did my 'apprenticeship' with fashion & advertising photographers in London. I shot advertising photography for about ten years, shooting a lot in South America & Asia before a relative asked me to photograph their wedding. I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. It was in complete contrast to the contrived way advertising photography works. Rather than working to a specific brief or vision from an art director, I was able to shoot all the great real emotional moments that were happening before me. I soon started the move over to weddings, that was nine years ago & I still love it.
How do you think or would like people to describe you?I’d like people to describe me as being totally professional. I think that is probably the best compliment you can get from the way you are doing your job. It doesn’t describe your photos, but how you are and the way you behave.
Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?A typical English country wedding, set in the heart of Sussex. Starting at the village church and then to Freya's parents house for a marquee reception. It was very DIY, they made so much of it, from the groomsmen's ties to the eco toilets in the garden.
How did you get into wedding photography?See above :-)
How long have you been a wedding photographer?Nine years.
Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?Approaching every wedding as if it is my first is a great philosophy. It's very easy to streamline your business, but along the way you can lose some of the enthusiasm that is crucial to being a wedding photographer.
One mistake it is easy to make is underpricing. To shoot a wedding properly you need to put a huge amount of time & effort in. If you under price you will have to under deliver, or go out of business.
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?They should be looking for energy in the photographer's work. Some photos can be beautiful but just not have any energy in them. It’s important the couple are able to look at the photos & feel the energy and emotion from the day. It can be very different from wedding to wedding, the bride & groom need the photographer to capture the feeling from their day. Ultimately, it’s important the photographer has insurance & is organised, etc, but after that it is up to the couple to choose the photographer based on how positive they feel about that photographer’s work.
How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?Referrals are where I get the vast bulk of my weddings, past couples & venues that like my work & like working with me. I also get weddings through Google.
Why do you think people hire you?I like to think people think my work is beautiful & natural & that I am professional and good to work with. It certainly seems so from the feedback I get after weddings.
How many weddings do you average per year?I average around 40 a year, any more than that and I think it's hard to give each one individual attention.
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?Anyone who loves my work!
If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?I shoot some weddings in Italy each year and love them. They can be really hard work and they're often not the romantic shoot people think they will be, but I do love how relaxed weddings in Italy are. I've shot in Ravello, but not in the cathedral in Amalfi, I’d love to shoot one there.
What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?I carry two camera bodies (Canon 5D MKIII), plus a backup in the car. I also carry a range of lenses, some as backups and some as my main lenses as well as other bits and pieces like flash guns, spare batteries etc. I have a backup for every piece of equipment and also have safety pins and plasters for bridesmaids.
What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.
Careful planning before the day means I'm thinking about what's happening now rather than what's happening next, but a good wedding photographer needs patience and planning skills as much as being a great photographer.
Do you have an approach to a wedding?Yes, I love planning & know that the best thing to do is to plan carefully so on the day I only need to think about the photography & not where I need to be next.
Who or what inspires you?There are some great photographers out there, & while I never try to recreate someone else’s shot, I get inspiration from some of the excellent images I see.
I also love going to galleries, ultimately one of the most important elements of photography comes down to using light well & that is true across lots of creative areas, meaning you can be inspired not just by photography, but also by paintings & other artists.
Best & Worst marketing idea so far?Very simple this one! Best marketing is to spend lots of time on my website & SEO, the worst letting work on my website slip when I’m busy with weddings!
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?I can’t imagine not being a photographer of some sort or another. I’ve been a photographer all my working life & aim to be till I retire, though I don’t know if photographers ever really retire!
Share your favourite image of the day and why?I love this shot from their day. Intimate, yet public, this really is catching a moment & shows everything I think wedding photography is about, beyond just documenting their day.
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?Right now I’m having a great time shooting weddings. For the first time in a while my only wish is to keep enjoying them as I am. I don’t want to jinx it by setting any goals!
What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?Patience & planning. Sometimes I have to wait for a long time for the shot I know is coming & the only way I will be in the right place at the right time is if I’ve planned well.
Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?I’m inspired by lots of different photographers, some for their images & some by their business expertise or professionalism. However, I find there are very few that I stick with, I tend to move on & find new ones continually.
Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?Hah, a cliché I’m afraid, but that’s got to be a split between my the birth of my kids and my wedding day.
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